Ukraine war latest: Biden addresses NATO summit after 'hell' of attack on Kyiv hospital (2024)

Key points
  • NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine
  • Missile that struck hospital was Russian, Sky News finds
  • Doctor recalls 'hell' of attack on children's hospital
  • Listen:Is new support for Ukraine a game-changer?
  • China and Belarus launch joint military drills near Polish border
  • Day of mourning follows Russian attack on Kyiv children's hospital
  • Ivor Bennett analysis:Modi's comments during visit prove awkward for Putin
  • Deborah Haynes analysis:Russia sending a message to NATO
  • Your questions answered:Has the West been honest about Ukraine's failures?| Is Kyiv next?
  • Live reporting Mark Wyatt


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What is the presidential medal of freedom?

Jen Stoltenberg, the secretary general of NATO, was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by President Joe Biden during the ceremony in Washington tonight.

But what exactly is the honour?

In short, the medal of freedom is the highest civilian honour in the US.

It is presented to individuals who have made "exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavours," the White House website states.

Other recipients of the medal of freedom from this year include former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Oscar-winning actress Michelle Yeoh.

Presenting Mr Stoltenberg with the medal earlier tonight, Mr Biden said: "NATO's alliance of nations is also made up of leaders.

"And one person in particular has done an extraordinary job of leading NATO for the last decade.

"So much of the progress made by the alliance is thanks to the secretary. He is a man of integrity, intellectual rigour and a diplomat who works with leaders across the political spectrum."

Speaking directly to Mr Stoltenberg, Mr Biden said: "Secretary, you have guided this alliance through one of its most consequential periods in its history...

"Today NATO is stronger, and more energised than when you began."

Mr Stoltenberg is due to stay on as secretary general until October after the 31 NATO states decided to keep him on rather than opting for a replacement.


Analysis: Word-perfect Biden reaffirms power of NATO as alliance faces its greatest challenge to date

President Joe Biden's speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of NATO was a "passionate reaffirmation of the power of the alliance," our US correspondent Mark Stone says.

Stone says surrounded by pomp and ceremony, Mr Biden defended the importance of NATO, which he said has only been strengthened since Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

"What is clear is that behind all of what we have watched is it is a significant challenge," Stone says.

"On its 75th birthday, NATO faces the greatest challenge it has ever faced, and it is clear to is that Vladimir Putin believes has the upper hand.

"What we did not hear from President Biden is any talk of Ukraine joining NATO immediately, but that will be a focus of discussions over the next few days."

The "elephant in the room" during the speech was Mr Biden's performance, Stone goes on to say.

The US president has been under intense pressure over the last few days to prove he is capable to remain in the Oval Office following a disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

But, according to Stone, the US leader "appeared to be pretty word-perfect" speaking with the help of an autocue.

"I am sure his team will be pretty pleased in what was a very important moment for him," says Stone.


NATO allies commit to sending air defence systems to Ukraine

President Joe Biden has just finished speaking at a NATO summit in Washington.

During his speech, he announced that the US and other NATO allies will send Ukraine dozens of air defence systems in the coming months - including at least four of the powerful Patriot systems that Kyiv has been desperately seeking.

According to the statement, the US, Germany and Romania will send Ukraine additional Patriot batteries, while the Netherlands and others will provide Patriot components to make up one more battery.

While Italy will provide a SAMP-T air defence system.

Other nations, including Canada, Norway, Spain and the UK, will provide a number of other systems that will help Ukraine expand its coverage.

Earlier today, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post that air defence is still his country's key request, adding he is "confident we will succeed" in being given them.


US President Joe Biden delivers address at NATO summit

US President Joe Biden is now speaking at a NATO summit in Washington.

Mr Biden begins his speech by speaking about how NATO was formed following the Second World War in a bid to "answer threats at once" and to "prevent future wars and protect democracy".

Speaking about the growth of NATO, he says that "Finland and Sweden joined the alliance not just because their leaders thought it, but because their citizens called for it, in overwhelming number".

Mr Biden adds that Russian President Vladimir Putin "wants nothing less than Ukraine's total subjection".

"Make no mistake, Russia is losing this war," he says.

He tells the room that "Putin won't stop at Ukraine" but that NATO's full support can help Ukraine stop Putin's aggression.

Moving on to support for Ukraine, the US president says the country will go "to the front of the line" when it comes to receiving air defence intercept systems from the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Italy.

Mr Biden says the US will help provide a "historic donation of air defence equipment", with "dozens" of additional tactical air defence systems.

Mr Biden then quotes former US president Ronald Reagan: "If our fellow democracies are not secure, we cannot be secure."

He then presents Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, with the presidential medal of freedom.


NATO summit taking place in Washington

We're still waiting for US President Joe Biden to take to the stage at the NATO summit in Washington.

Currently, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, is speaking.

He says that NATO - celebrating its 75th year - is the "safest, most strong and longest lasting alliance in history".

You can follow along by watching the live stream above.


Ukrainian arms manufacturer opens office in US

A state-owned arms manufacturer from Ukraine has opened its first foreign officein Washington.

Ukroboronprom is seeking to work more closely with allies tostep up weapons production and counter Russia's invasion.

"Its main task is to promote joint US-Ukrainian defenceprojects and enhance our integration into NATO's defenceindustrial base," strategic industries minister OleksandrKamyshin said on X.

For context: Ukraine has been trying to build up its domestic armaments sector since Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022 and has urged its allies to agree joint ventures, invest inUkrainian businesses, and place orders for Ukrainian weapons.

Last year, Kyiv agreed with two US firms to jointlymanufacture vital 155mm artillery shells in Ukraine, although production was not expected to start forat least two years.

Last month, Ukroboronprom launched a partnership with German defence conglomerate Rheinmetall that saw a workshop established in Ukraine for the repair and production of armoured vehicles.


'No agreements on Ukraine without Ukraine' says foreign minister

Ukraine's foreign minister reiterated that an agreement on an end to the war in Ukraine should be reached with Kyiv's participation.

It follows Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban holding talks on a potential peace deal in Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, angering some EU leaders who warned against appeasing Moscow.

It was the first meeting of an EU leader with Putin in Moscow since April 2022.

"Our position - no agreements on Ukraine without Ukraine," Dmytro Kuleba told national TV today.

Yesterday, Ukraine's foreign ministry released a statement saying their policy "remains unshakable" and they called on "all states to observe it strictly".

Mr Orban has been a critic of Western military aid to Kyiv and the sanctions placed against Russia since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago.

"We cannot sit back and wait for the war to miraculously end," he wrote on X.


Watch: Ukrainian doctor recalls horrors of Kyiv hospital attack

The director of Ukraine's largest children's hospital, hit on Monday by a deadly missile strike blamed on Russia, said the attack is "beyond the limits of humanity".

Dr Volodymyr Zhovnir spoke to the UN Security Council today, where he said more two adults were killed and more than 300 people were injured in the attack.

Ukraine published photos of what it said were recovered fragments of a Russia cruise missile that hit the hospital in Kyiv.

Sky News have been able to verify that the missile that struck the hospital was indeed launched by Russia (see 19.30pm post).

“At 10.42am we felt a powerful explosion," said Dr Zhovnir.

"The ground shook and the floor trembled. Both children and adults screamed and cried from fear and the wounded from pain. It was real hell.

"We could hear people crying out for help from beneath the rubble."

He also listed what was destroyed, with 24 hospital departments damaged including oncology, intensive care, operating rooms, and prenatal care.

"To strike a children’s hospital where children are treated for cancer and other heavy diseases is not just a war crime. It is far beyond the limits of humanity," he added.


Listen to the Sky News Daily podcast: Is new Ukraine support a 'game-changer'?

Ukraine has published what it says is "unequivocal" evidence a Russian missile hit Kyiv's largest children's hospital.

The Okhmatdyt Hospital treats 20,000 people a year. A two-storey wing helping children with cancer was destroyed in the attack.

It's the deadliest airstrike in Ukraine for months - on the eve of a NATO summit and as China and Belarus start military exercises near the Polish border - what reaction can we expect?

Niall Paterson is joined by Jimmy Rushton, a Kyiv-based journalist and defence analyst, to hear more about the damage and the reaction from those in Ukraine's capital. Plus, he speaks to our defence and security editor Deborah Haynes.

Ukraine war latest: Biden addresses NATO summit after 'hell' of attack on Kyiv hospital (2024)


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